New Water Park Coming To PA – Mohegan Sun Complex
Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Northeastern Pennsylvania has grown into one of the biggest gaming destinations in the region featuring over 2,300 slot machines, over 80 table games and live harness racing. With a $1.5 billion dollar investment already planned, management at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs plans to add even more attractions to the complex over the next three to five years that will drive that investment even higher.
Mike Bean, president of the local casino operation, told an overflow crowd attending the Northeast Pennsylvania Alliance last week that additional expansion is aimed at attracting more customers from a wider radius.
Bean said: “It’s our pack up the minivan approach, We want to make our complex a family destination by giving more people from farther distances more reasons to come here and stay longer. We have some things that we have on the drawing board that we haven’t finalized, so it’s not something I can elaborate on a lot right now,”
Bean later said: “We are going to continue to develop the property as much as we possibly can.”
Bean, 49, said future plans include an indoor water park, a summer snow skiing park, an indoor sports complex, a retail shopping center and possibly a second hotel.
Bean outlined the proposed plan at the NEPA Alliance dinner, hosted at the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, causing quite a buzz throughout the room.
By creating a more family-oriented complex, Bean said more people will travel longer distances and once they are there, they will notice many of the other amenities and attractions that Northeastern Pennsylvania offers, such as the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and amenities at Montage Mountain.
He said the proposed water park is still on the drawing board, but serious talks are continuing. He also said the company that would build and operate the park is also considering building a second hotel on the casino site.
“Our philosophy is the more amenities we can offer, the more people will visit and once here, stay longer,” Bean said.
The Ultimate Sports complex that is planned will have two large indoor sports domes with seven artificial turf fields. Bean said construction has not yet begun, but Ultimate Sports will build it and operate the complex.
Bean said the snow park will feature snow-flex skiing and snowboarding mountain. He said a timetable for the project has not yet been established, but he expects all to be completed or underway within the next three to five years.
The complex is within easy access of New York, Philadelphia, New Jersey and Delaware and just a short distance from other great northeastern Pennsylvania attractions such as Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg. Mohegan Sun purchased the former Pocono Downs racetrack property in 2005 and has continued to improve the site since that time. Bean said the total capital investment to date is $659 million to complete several phases of the site’s evolution from a racetrack to a mini-casino, to revamping the entire racing area, to building a new casino, to construction of a hotel and more.
The new attractions planned for the complex will certainly enhance the region and actually help other businesses by bringing new revenue into the area.
“We will offer a snow park, but if someone is a skier, they will be going to Montage,” Bean said. “What we will offer won’t be anything like what Montage offers.”
Bean said, that out-of-town visitors will come to Mohegan Sun for many reasons, from gambling, to racing, to family activities like the planned snow and water parks.
“We believe there is the potential for an all-season family entertainment destination. Once guests are here, they will learn about Northeastern Pennsylvania and will find out about the major attractions offered close by,” Bean said. “We hope to offer enough things that will drive out of the area people to the region and once here, they will discover all the other options available throughout Northeastern PA.”
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